Judge Willis will retire in Jan. 2011 | NevadaAppeal.com
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Judge Willis will retire in Jan. 2011

by F.T. Norton
ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com

After 26 years on the bench, the longest tenure of any justice of the peace in Carson City, Judge Robey Willis will hang up his robe.

“I’ve been there longer than anyone’s ever been there,” Willis said Friday. “For Barb, having me home in the dark days of winter won’t be so bad.”

Appointed to the position in 1988, Willis, 67, said in a letter of resignation dated Oct. 19 and addressed to the mayor and city supervisors that he would be leaving office Jan. 4, 2011, with one year left on his term.

He also requested that a special election be held to find a new justice of the peace for the capital city. That request will be addressed at Thursday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

“I have greatly enjoyed serving Carson City and its citizens,” he said. “So much so … I cannot envision any other career I would have rather pursued.”

Willis has lived in Carson City for 40 years. At the time of his appointment to the justice court, he’d been a juvenile special master for five years.

Prior to that Willis was boxing coach and assistant football coach for Stewart Indian School.

Married to Barbara for

43 years, the couple raised one child.

Willis said his retirement was prompted by the recent loss of Barb’s mother, her father’s failing health, as well as his own mother’s advanced age.

“We’ve got to look after them,” he said, adding he will become a senior judge. “I still like the job. I just think in 14 months it’s going to be time (to go).”

As a senior judge he will be able to travel all over the state filling in for other justices of the peace.

Despite serving on one of the busiest justice courts in the state – in 2008 both Willis and Justice of the Peace John Tatro each presided over thousands of cases – Willis said he’s not concerned about how he will fill his days.

“I like to golf, like to lift weights, like to run. I might get involved in volunteering with the Alzheimers Association,” he said. “I just got things in mind.”